Kimmika Williams-Witherspoon, PhD (Cultural Anthropology), M.A. (Anthropology), MFA (Theater), Graduate Certificate)Women's Studies, B.A. (Journalism); is an Associate Professor in the Theater Department at Temple. The 2008 $50,000. Research and Creative Scholarship Seed Grant Co-recipient, 2003 Provost’s Arts Commission Grant recipient ($5000); a 2001 Independence Foundation Theater Communications Group Grant, the 2000 winner of the PEW Charitable Trust $50,000 fellowship in scriptwriting, and the 1999, winner of the DaimlerChrysler "Spirit of the Word" National Poetry Competition (Seattle) at the Unity'99 Conference, Kimmika Williams has also been the recipient of a host of awards and honors, including: the DaimlerChrysler Regional Poetry Contest (Philadelphia), the 1996, Lila Wallace Creative Arts Fellowship with the American Antiquarian Society and a two-time returning playwright with the Minneapolis Playwrights' Center and Pew Charitable Trusts Playwrights Exchange.
The author of The Secret Messages in African American Theater: Hidden Meaning Embedded in Public Discourse” (Edwin Mellen Publishing, 2006) Williams was, at one time, Arts Producer for public radio, WXPN-88.5, reporter and columnist with the Philadelphia Tribune and television editor for the Chicago-based "Maceba Affairs Media Review Magazine. As a journalist, Williams' articles and essays have appeared in the "Hammer" Journal, "Dialogue", the Philadelphia REAL NEWS, POETS & WRITERS Magazine, THE OTHER SIDE, the New York GUARDIAN NEWSWEEKLY, the DAILY MUSE, BLACK AMERICA MAGAZINE, PHILLY BEAT, HIGH PERFORMANCE MAGAZINE and the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS. In 1986, she was commended for outstanding journalism by the Philadelphia Veterans Administration.
Her stage credits include, SHOT!, (for which she is also the playwright); “Damn Yankees”; “No Mo’ Blues”; “Shakin the Mess Outta Misery”, "From Brillo Pads To Feminine Pads: Raw Abrasives", "A Product of Pop Culture and Pissed", "Nappy Truth", "Common Folk", "A CHAINED FOOT STUMBLING ON A NEW WORLD", "GUMBO", "WE THE PEOPLE","IZZY","THE BLACK DIAMOND" and "WHERE WERE YOU IN '65". As a playwright, Williams-Witherspoon has had well over seventeen of her plays produced in professional theater, including “ Survival Strategies: A Tale of Faith (First World Theatre); "From Brillo Pads To Feminine Pads: Raw Abrasives" (Women's Festival/Painted Bride), "Dog Days: The Legend of O.V. Catto" (Venture Theater),"By What Price: Unity" and "Nappy Truths" (Penumbra Theater, Saint Paul, Minn.).
Williams is a recipient of numerous Residency, Teaching and Community Service Awards, including citations from City Council, The Goode Admin., the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the key to the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania by Mayor James P. Connors in 1992. A contributing poet to several anthologies including Let Loose on the World: Celebrating Amir Baraka at 75, (AAT 2009); Check The Rhyme: Anthology of Female Poets, Lit Noire Publishing, New York, 2006; The Lion Speaks: An Anthology for Hurricane Katrina, Interstices, Chicago, Il: 2006; Hair Piecez, The Anthology, Ujima Press Real Communications, 2004 /2005; Philadelphia Poets, ed. Rosemary Cappello, Volume 9, Number 2, October 2003; di-verse-city: Founders Edition, Austin Poetry Festival Anthology, 2003; Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century, (Black Classic Press, 2002); (2001) Houston Poetry Fest Anthology; (2000) Split Verse: Poems of healing; (2000) Houston Poetry Fest Anthology; (2000) Austin Poetry Anthology; Sunlight on the Moon (1999), 1999 Essence Magazine; Hard Love: Writings on Violence and Intimacy,(1997); Hip Mama", EROITQUE NOIRE: BLACK EROTICA, (1992), NEW BLACK POETRY (1988), SAY THAT THE RIVER TURNS (1987) and CONCERNED POETS ON THE MOVE (1986), Williams-Witherspoon is the author of eight volumes of poetry, the spoken word CD “Spoken Word,” (2001) and the 1985 spoken word hit tape, Don’t Call Me a Bitch.